A Human Rights-Based Approach to Justice in Social Work Practice

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A Human Rights-Based Approach to Justice in Social Work Practice by Gatenio Gabel, Shirley, 9780197570647
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  • ISBN: 9780197570647 | 019757064X
  • Cover: Paperback
  • Copyright: 11/7/2023

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At its founding, social workers were human rights defenders who advocated for societal reforms and fought against social exclusion and discriminatory practices that violated human rights. As social work grew and developed professional skill sets, values, and ethics, the focus turned toward professionalizing social work by creating theories and interventions to guide social work practice, and justice was no longer the driving force. The role of social workers as human rights defenders faded as the place of justice in social work receded. Social work practice moved from instigating change toward maintaining the existing social infrastructure.

In A Human Rights-Based Approach to Justice in Social Work Practice, Shirley Gatenio Gabel presents a human rights-based approach toward justice in social work practice that is more in line with social work's roots and the intentions of its founders, and moves us past the false micro/macro dichotomy within social work. A rights-based approach seeks to transform societies in ways that care with respect and dignity for one another. This renewed approach requires the full participation of impacted individuals and communities to create systems supportive of human rights and economic, social, and environmental justice. Readers will be challenged to think critically about the social infrastructure we have built, who benefits from it, who doesn't, and how it perpetuates inequities.

Using case examples, exercises, and reflection activities, this book will serve as a go-to guide on implementing and integrating a rights-based approach to justice in social work practice.
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